George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Michelle Williams should all expect Academy Award nominations on January 24th

As we get closer to the Academy Award nominations I thought I would give a prediction of the Oscar Nominees before I get angry at who is nominated, call out who got the shaft and finally predict the actual winners.  Most of the different critics awards have been given out and some of the major awards have listed their nominees so in the vain fun of predictions and pleas to the Academy, here is what I believe the Oscar nominations (along with a few hopefuls) for the top awards will be when announced by Jennifer Lawrence on Jan. 24, 2012.

Nick Nolte in Warrior

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Nick Nolte – WARRIOR, Ben Kingsly – HUGO, Albert Brooks – DRIVE, Christopher Plummer – BEGINNERS, Jonah Hill – MONEYBALL

I truly enjoyed all the performances in this category.  But I think I’m most excited for Plummer who after such an impressive body of work, I believe is a lock to have his first win.

For Your Consideration:  Alan Rickman in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 – Rickman conveys more restrained emotion than any one else this year.  He has limited screen time in a huge blockbuster and is able to bring tears to your eyes.  Lets show some respect to a great ending in an entertaining series.

Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Octavia Spencer – THE HELP, Jessica Chastain – THE HELP, Melissa McCarthy – BRIDESMAIDS, Shailene Woodley – THE DESCENDANTS, Berenico Bejo – THE ARTIST

This is the category with the stiffest competition.  Jessica Chastain has been great in everything this past year.  TAKE SHELTER, THE DEBT, THE TREE OF LIFE and THE HELP.  Who really knows for which one she will be nominated?  Since THE HELP deserves nominations for its entire cast my guess they will slide that one her way.

For Your Consideration:  Cicely Tyson in THE HELP – Like I said before, I think you could plug just about anyone from THE HELP but the weight of emotion Tyson exudes in such a short amount of time carries the film in a pivotal way.

Brad Pitt in Moneyball

ACTOR: Jean Dujardin – THE ARTIST, George Clooney – THE DESCENDANTS, Brad Pitt – MONEYBALL, Michael Fassbender – SHAME, Leonardo DiCaprio – J. EDGAR

Pitt, Clooney and DiCaprio are superstars that once again prove they are more than just a just a pretty face.  Fassbender had a year full of great performances and will beat out some of the tough competition based on the quantity.  Then of course Dujardin is simply charming without ever having to say a word.

For Your Consideration:  Michael Shannon in TAKE SHELTER – In what might be my favorite performance of the year, Shannon encompasses a man losing his grip on reality while trying to maintain his dignity, courage and strength for his family.


ACTRESS: Michelle Williams – MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, Viola Davis – THE HELP, Meryl Streep – THE IRON LADY, Glenn Close – ALBERT NOBBS, Kirsten Dunst – MELANCHOLIA

Other than THE HELP, I didn’t think the rest of these movies were all that great.  Even Tilda Swinton for WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN who has been on many critics’ lists was left off here because the film was simply not good enough.

For Your Consideration:  Rooney Mara in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO – This one may seem silly because some consider her a favorite to be nominated.  Unfortunately, I keep seeing her left off other nominations and I fear my favorite performance of one of the greatest characters is going to be forgotten.

Jean Dujadin and Berenice Bejo in The Artist


This year instead of 5 or 10, it will be based on percentage of votes with a minimum of 5 but the possibility of more.  So a few others like WARHORSE and MONEYBALL could be added to the mix.  I’m confident about these 5 not only because of the high acclaims they have already received but also for the deeper emotional meaning they all convey.  They tell a greater story that on some level inspire the audience, at least in the eyes of the Academy.

For Your Consideration:  Best Picture: WARRIOR – I’m not sure why no one saw this film but for me it beats out all the numerous nominated or winning boxing films before it.

For Your Consideration:  Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn for DRIVE – The acting and story are all well and fine but it is the strong stylish directing that makes the film so riveting, smart and entertaining.

By Nathan Swank

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